Kenyan 'devil's cactus' is spreading out of control -- but tech is fighting back

(CNN)A hungry elephant roams the grasslands of Laikipia County in Kenya until he spots a sweet, yet problematic, snack: the fruit of an invasive cactus.

The endangered mammal stops and eats, but also ingests sharp spines that lodge in his mouth, stomach lining and intestine. Not only can this cause painful abscesses, but the relentless spread of the cactus here is attracting more elephants closer to human settlements where the prickly pests grow, causing a spike in human-elephant conflict.